Contrast France and Spain. How does each represent a difference in values? What do the churches that are described have to do with those values? How does Jake’s statement, “I only wish I...

Contrast France and Spain. How does each represent a difference in values? What do the churches that are described have to do with those values? How does Jake’s statement, “I only wish I felt religious and maybe I would the next time” fit this?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The trip to Spain offers respite to Jake. In Paris, he is truly a lost soul, an expatriate who seems to enjoy nothing in life, so he drinks excessively. In this chapter and in the following ones, we see the difference between France and Spain. The French are intent on being sophisticated, but the Spaniards are more fun-loving. They drink wine out of skins that they pass around, they enjoy bull fighting. The French in Paris seem a bit snooty, whereas the Spaniards are friendly. The weather is sunny and it is hot in Spain, and this seems to affect the peoples' dispositions. They have a week-long fiesta prior to, during and after the bull fights. Hemingway is making a contrast between the outlook on life between the French and the Spaniards.

In Spain, Jake goes into the churches sometimes. Before he goes in, he always mentions that he "isn't drunk." One time he goes to church with Brett because she says she wants to hear his confession and he replies that "it isn't all that interesting." Jake has been raised a Catholic, but he is not religious. However, something is left in his soul, a remainder of the peace that his faith may have brought to him at one time. He keeps getting drawn back to church, even though he protests that he is not religious, and "maybe next time" - he keeps hoping that he can find some redemption by going to church, but he never does.

The closest Jake comes to "freedom" however is in Spain, on the fishing trip with Bill, out in nature. One can really see Hemingway's values coming through here - in his own life, religion failed him, just like Jake. Jake makes only a half-hearted effort to let faith heal his soul. He looks upon it as something magic that might work, but he does not understand the nature of faith.

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